Lawyers and pro bono projects from the firm won:
- Junior Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award – Georgia Crossman, an associate in Reed Smith’s Global Corporate Group, was recognised for her leadership and work with Kids in Needs of Defense UK (KIND UK) and Face Equality International. KIND UK works to ensure that cuts to legal aid in England and Wales do not disadvantage some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. Face Equality International provides international support and campaigning to enable the facial difference community to live freely, without indignity or discrimination.
- Best Contribution by an Individual – Ellie Ruiz, a senior associate in the firm’s Global Commercial Disputes Group, was recognised for her commitment and leadership of the firm’s pro bono work, particularly with Channel Rescue, an organisation set up to ensure the safety of migrants crossing the English Channel, and Amicus, which provides support and assistance to lawyers representing individuals facing the death penalty in the United States.
- Best International Pro Bono Award (in partnership with A4ID) – Reed Smith’s ongoing partnership with the AHA Foundation was awarded for its work on a flagship project to produce legal guides for female genital mutilation survivors and those at risk of FGM in various states across the United States. This work is led by Munich-based partner Constantin Conrads, and London-based associate Adijatu Kamara and trainee Cindy Li.
- Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership – Reed Smith’s participation in the Afghan Pro Bono Initiative, that was set up this year to support Afghan individuals in need of legal advice, support, and representation as they try to find safe routes to sanctuary, was recognised in a joint nomination alongside our NGO partners, Safe Passage International, Refugee Legal Support, and 13 other City law firms. At Reed Smith this work is led by London-based partner Bronwen Jones and associates Farzeen Tariq and Saleh Zaheer.
Firm lawyers took part in another project that received two recognitions:
- Best New Pro Bono Activity and Most Effective Pro Bono Partnership – Reed Smith lawyers have been collaborating with six other large law firms providing services to the Domestic Abuse Response Alliance, which helps individuals obtain emergency injunctions against domestic abusers. This project was short-listed in two categories. Sally-Ann Underhill, Alia Khalil and Natalia Debowska are leading on this project.
Reed Smith partner Michael Skrein, the firm’s pro bono partner for EMEA, commented: “I am enormously proud of our lawyers who have contributed to our successful pro bono projects this year. My thanks and deep appreciation go to Georgia, Ellie, Constantin, Adi, Cindy, Bronwen, Farzeen and Saleh, for all that they do to lead our work on these important and life-changing projects. We will continue to focus our pro bono efforts in the UK and across our EMEA region to assist our communities and individuals in need in the most meaningful way that we can.”
LawWorks works in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of advice and who are not eligible for legal aid.